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How to Care for an Encyclia Orchid

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How to Care for an Encyclia Orchid

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Overview

Encyclia orchids are found in the wild in Mexico, South America and western parts of India. These plants have short, sturdy leaves and tall, upright spikes that profusely produce colorful blooms. The flowers of the encyclia orchid are orange, green, yellow, brown or pink. Unlike many other types of orchids, the encyclia is a summer-blooming plant and can even be planted outdoors if there's no danger of frost. Most people choose to grow them indoors, however, where caring for the encyclia orchid is easier to manage.

Step 1

Plant the encyclia orchid in potting medium---such as bark, rocks, charcoal or a mixture of such items---that allows the roots to dry out quickly. Clay pots made for orchids or wooden baskets that allow air to circulate on the encyclia's roots are ideal.

Step 2

Position the orchid so that it receives morning sunlight and partial shade in the afternoon. Encyclia orchids love light, but care must be taken to ensure the leaves do not burn. For that reason, do not expose the orchid to hours of full, hot sunlight.

Step 3

Fluctuate the temperatures in your home. Encyclia orchids can tolerate a wide range of temperatures from as cool as 50 degrees to as warm as 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In order to bloom, however, the temperatures need to drop at night by about 10 to 15 degrees. Care for your orchid by moving it to a cooler location at night, or leave it by a slightly open window.

Step 4

Mist your encyclia orchid every morning with a spray bottle. Orchids like humid air. Misting in the morning will allow the water to quickly evaporate, reducing the risk of mold or mildew developing on the plant.

Step 5

Water encyclia orchids once or twice a week. It's okay to let the soil dry out a bit between waterings, but if the weather is hot, add a third weekly watering.

Step 6

Care for your encyclia plant by feeding it properly. From spring to the start of fall, these orchids should be fertilized once a week. If the potting medium is inorganic, use a 20-20-20 (30-10-10 for bark) non-urea based fertilizer. Give the orchid only a half dose of the fertilizer at each feeding. In the winter, fertilize the orchid only once per month.

Things You'll Need

  • Loose potting medium (such as large bark, charcoal, coconut husks or rocks)
  • Clay orchid pot or wooden basket
  • Spray bottle and water
  • 20-20-20 or 30-10-10 fertilizer

References

  • Orchids of the World: Encyclia
  • Clan Orchids: Epidendrum and Encyclia Culture Page

Who Can Help

  • American Orchid Society
Keywords: encyclia orchid, care for, plant

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.

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